Reflections on Penn-Del Tree Climbing Championship by Paul Biester

     Tree family or tree community is what we in the industry call it. We hashtag things like #treelife, #arblife, #treefamily, and #lovemyjob. I have been in this industry for over 33 years and it has not always been easy. There have been lean years in business, crane removals in 14 degree weather, very long very hot summers and the occasional unreasonable client.  In the grand scheme of being a business owner, we can often feel ground down.  We must find creative ways to re-energize ourselves

     One the simplest ways over the course of my career to feel uplifted is to be around my tree brothers and sisters.  There is a definite brotherhood that exists between arborist . Although we come from many different walks of life, we are connected by our love of tree work.  It really isn’t just tree work, however.  Most of us love to be outside and would not trade a treetop for a desk. We bring that passion and love to our respective communities and share our gifts through our work.  Most of us enjoy seeing a difficult laborious task set before us and feel accomplished when its complete. We know we work as hard as any other trade and in a proven high risk industry.  We work hard and play hard.  There is definitely a deep sense of connectedness among us.  With a smile and a nod, we sort of know what we mean.

     A couple of weeks back, I had the awesome privilege of being asked to help judge the work climb at the Penn- Del Tree Climbing Championships!  After what has been a challenging year and a couple weeks very tropical weather, this was a welcome diversion.  I have been a NJ chapter member for a very long time but have made friends with the folks from the Penn-Del chapter over the years. Many times over my career,  a seminar, competition, or management conference has been a change agent for me.  These planned interruptions are often much needed tonic.  This event did not disappoint.  After serving along side my tree brothers and sisters at this event I came away with an uplifted spirit. The passion, connection, commitment and comraderie is infectious.  I have worked a couple of weeks now since the competition and I am still buzzing.

     Energy lifted and relationships strengthened.  This goes down as a victory.  Thanks to all of the folks involved at the Penn-Del chapter for the invite, but most of all for your warmth and hospitality .